When you look at the digital landscape and social in Kenya, it is compelling to see how the attention of the consumer is determining where brands spend advertising shillings.
People no longer watch as much television and read newspapers as they used to just 3 years ago. On the other hand, more people are accessing information from their mobile phones. As a result, It is time that brands and businesses re-evaluated how they talk to their customers.
As a brand, your goal is not to simply adopt a new technology, but rather, to tell stories along the decision-making path of your consumers. Today, that path is increasingly towards a mobile-first direction. What is more social networks are also fertile grounds for telling your brand’s story.
Social in Kenya – Why Brands are Failing
While the earlier Internet marketing strategy was towards running ads and banners, the game seemed to have taken a different turn with social. For many brands, social is a distribution channel where they push out an update and a link to what they are trying to sell or promote.
Customers however are humans and humans like to talk to other humans in a humanlike manner. They want brands that understand how to engage with them online as opposed to simply pushing tweets and updates to distribute other information.
We are living in a very transparent world. Conversations and story-telling is at the heart of it all and social networks are playing a big role in this. If a brand is not talking on social or is simply out of touch, it doesn’t sound like a very fun brand to interact with.
Humanising your company on social networks is literally the cost of relevance in today’s society.
Brands should avoid talking like press releases and start talking like human beings. While it sounds like something difficult to do, it’s actually very easy. It starts by listening to your customers, responding to their comments, being funny, and everything else we associate with being human.
Regardless of which industry you are in, as long as you’re interesting, people will follow you. Period. Even a bottle of water can be made interesting and people will follow it.
Give, Give, Give Before You Ask
By now, you know that 99 percent of people and brands on social are there to sell and promote. They are pushing messages for you to buy their products, visit their store, come to their event, visit their website etc.
Social in Kenya however should be about giving. It should be you giving valuable tips, curating valuable content, and just about anything that can add value to your followers. Anything other than that results in you and your brand becoming irrelevant. If people don’t unfollow you, they will simply tune you out.
Here is another reason why you need to be of value on social.
People no longer rely on Search alone to make a decision on which car to purchase or which restaurant to go to. While they may occasionally Google, they are however more likely to Tweet and get an opinion from others. People are more likely to trust their circle of friends over you or Google and social in Kenya is no different. When they do, you want to be the one they recommend. They like your brand because you talk to them and offer valuable info. And you want to be ready to help them out when they finally decide to purchase from you.
Your customers are changing. You, on the other hand, need to offer a value proposition to maintain them. They have more options today to choose from, and how they consume media has also changed significantly. You need to keep up with these trends and change with the times. That is the only way to make it in today’s social landscape.